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AuthorRobert Muchamore
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreYoung adult spy fiction
PublisherHodder & Stoughton
PublishedApril 30, 2004
Media type
No. of books17 + 1 short story

CHERUB (/ˈɛrəb/) is a series of young adult spy novels written by English author Robert Muchamore, focusing around a division of the British Security Service called CHERUB, which employs children, predominantly orphans, under the age of 17, as intelligence agents.[1]

Initially, the series follows James Choke, better known as James Adams (his adopted name at CHERUB), as he enters CHERUB and performs various missions. However, the focus later expands to other characters, such as James' sister Lauren and several other characters who work alongside him and in separate missions. The initial series of twelve novels runs from the recruitment of Adams to his retirement from CHERUB at age seventeen. The second series of five novels, Aramov, follows Ryan Sharma, another CHERUB agent; James Adams is re-introduced into the series as a CHERUB staff member.

Muchamore also wrote a seven-part series called Henderson's Boys, which takes place during World War II and explains how CHERUB was created, following the path of a twelve-year-old French orphan who meets Charles Henderson and shows him how much help children can be to win the war. Henderson, following this, creates a small unit of children to be trained in espionage.

The series has achieved great critical success. Christopher Middleton of The Times called the series "convincing" and praised the way it allows readers to "grow up with the characters."[1] After release in the United Kingdom, the novels have been released in the US, New Zealand, and Australia, and translated into several languages including Polish, French, Danish, Spanish, Russian, Czech, Norwegian and Portuguese. On his website, Muchamore states that over 8 million copies have now been sold.[2] A film adaptation was hinted at in 2009, but no further information was ever given.[3] In 2018, Sony announced they were developing a TV series based on the CHERUB books.[4]

Original series[edit]

The first series primarily follows James Adams, an adolescent who is later joined at CHERUB by his sister Lauren when their mother dies of alcohol poisoning.

The Recruit [edit]

After the death of his mother, James joins CHERUB. With the help of his partner, Kerry Chang, he passes basic training. Meanwhile, James' half-sister Lauren Adams joins CHERUB following the imprisonment of her father. A couple months later, James goes on a mission to thwart an attack on an oil conference by eco-terrorist group Help Earth.[5]

Class A[edit]

Titled The Dealer in the United States and The Mission for 5,000 copies. James, Kyle, Kerry, Nicole, and mission controllers Zara and Ewart Asker help to take down the cocaine supplier gang KMG. They move in to a house on the same estate as Keith Moore and his children. James' duty is to befriend the head of KMG's son, Junior Moore, to attempt to get valuable information on his dad's business. Things take an unexpected turn and a trip to Miami is in order. [6]

Maximum Security[edit]

Many CHERUB missions have resulted in criminals being put behind bars, but one is now scheduled for James and Dave to bust someone out. James and Dave go undercover in a maximum security prison in Arizona to break out the son of an illegal arms dealer. Their hope is that he will lead them to her.[7]

The Killing[edit]

James and Dave go to find out why a small-time crook suddenly appears to become extremely rich, and they uncover a plot much larger than a robbery: the murder of Will Clarke.[8]

Divine Madness[edit]

James, Lauren and Dana investigate a religious cult named The Survivors in Australia with suspected links to an eco-terrorist organisation Help Earth.[9]

Man vs Beast[edit]

James, Lauren and Kyle infiltrate an animal-rights terrorist group.[10]

The Fall[edit]

When a mission in Russia goes wrong, James tries to clear his name after being implicated in the deaths of two MI5 agents, while Lauren goes on a mission to expose a sex slave trafficking gang.[11]

Mad Dogs[edit]

James and Bruce infiltrate a gang tussling with rivals for control of the Luton underworld after the collapse of KMG.[12]

The Sleepwalker[edit]

Lauren and Jake go undercover to befriend a boy who claims that his father is responsible for a deadly plane crash in the Atlantic.[13]

The General[edit]

James, Lauren, and other CHERUB agents befriend the SAS and play insurgents in a US army training exercise in Las Vegas.[14]

Brigands M.C.[edit]

James, Lauren and Dante infiltrate a violent biker gang.[15]

Shadow Wave[edit]

James turns down a final mission at CHERUB guarding a politician, instead helping Kyle to expose the politician's wrongdoings.[16]


This series involves an almost completely new cast of CHERUB agents, centred upon Ryan Sharma. However, characters from the original series appear occasionally. The first three books focus on a mission to dismantle the fictional Aramov Clan. As of December 2016, five novels have been announced.

People's Republic[edit]

Ryan investigates (and befriends) a young boy called Ethan whose extended family are the leaders of a Kyrgyzstan-based terrorist group known as the Aramov Clan.[17]

Guardian Angel[edit]

Ryan is tasked with destroying the Aramov Clan.[18]

Black Friday[edit]

Ryan has to stop the biggest terrorist attack in US history as Aramov operations wind down, and James Adams returns to CHERUB campus.[19]

Lone Wolf[edit]

Ryan infiltrates a drug gang. Ning befriends Fay, a girl whose mother was murdered by the gang and may have vital information on how the organisation works.[20]

New Guard[edit]

New Guard is the final novel in the CHERUB series.[21]It features characters from both the first and second CHERUB series in one big mission.

Short stories[edit]

Dark Sun[edit]

Released for World Book Day, Rat and Andy go undercover to befriend a boy whose father is a member of Dark Sun, a criminal organisation dealing in nuclear weapons technology. Chronologically, the story fits in between The Sleepwalker and The General.[22]

Other publications[edit]

CHERUB: Ultimate Edition[edit]

CHERUB: Ultimate Edition consists of a map of CHERUB campus, a biography of Muchamore, and the novels The Recruit and Class A.

The Recruit: The Graphic Novel[edit]

The Recruit was released as a graphic novel, illustrated by Ian Edginton and John Aggs.

International releases[edit]

The CHERUB novels have been released in twenty-seven countries to date.

First publication date Country
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • United States
  • Germany
  • Russia
  • Belgium
  • China
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • India
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • Romania
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • Serbia


The series' main location is CHERUB campus, the headquarters of the fictional titular British government agency CHERUB for which the children work. It was formed during World War II by Charles Henderson; a British spy who had used children during an operation in France. It is populated by around 350 adolescents and children, who live on the campus when not on a mission to help the police. No-one in the world knows where CHERUB campus is situated except its employees, members and certain police and high level members of the British government.

CHERUB began with a small number of boys which swelled in size as the government realised its worth. After several years of operation it took in a trial group of girls, which proved successful. Since then CHERUB campus has grown a significant amount, improving many of its facilities. The dojo was built on behalf of a successful operation that took place in Japan and the new mission preparation building was built by the chairman of the first 6 novels, Dr. McAfferty, better known as Mac. After retiring at the end of Man Vs Beast, he is replaced by Zara Asker, who holds the role for ten years until stepping down to be replace by husband Ewart Asker shortly before New Guard.[5]

After years of speculation, Muchamore said in the Henderson's Boys novel Eagle Day that CHERUB stood for Charles Henderson Espionage Research Unit B; this was later confirmed in Secret Army by Eileen McAfferty in a telegram.


  • James Adams is the main protagonist of the series. He is a strong, stocky boy ranging from just under twelve to eighteen years old through the course of the series. Although usually friendly, he does occasionally have anger management issues. During the series he has had two on-campus girlfriends, Kerry Chang and Dana Smith, as well as various girlfriends on missions. He gets on well with his half-sister Lauren Adams.
  • Lauren Adams is James' sister. She is headstrong and does well in missions, however she does create various schemes to pay people back for actions, which result in her receiving punishments. She has a boyfriend called Rat.
  • Kyle Blueman is another CHERUB agent who is friends with James. He was recruited when he was eight years old. He is homosexual, something that James has trouble coming to terms with. He is kind, but will also conduct revenge schemes, including one in which he exposes politician Tan Abdullah as conducting illegal activities in Shadow Wave, the twelfth book of the series.
  • Kerry Chang is a James' main love interest throughout the series. She befriends James in the first novel and helps him get through basic training.
  • Bruce Norris is a CHERUB agent who is friends with James. Bruce is a small but very strong kid; he is a campus karate champion.
  • Greg "Rat" Rathbone is about a year younger than James. He is Lauren Adams boyfriend. He was recruited in the fifth book, Divine Madness.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Middleton, Christopher (2008-04-04). "Family bookclub: Robert Muchamore's The Recruit". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  2. ^ Robert Muchamore (2012). "Biography". Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  3. ^ Robert Muchamore (2012). "CHERUB News – March 2009". Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  4. ^ "SONY CAPTURES CHERUB FOR TV". MUCHAMORE.COM. 25 April 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  5. ^ a b Muchamore, Robert (2004). The Recruit. CHERUB. 1. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-88153-8.
  6. ^ —— (2004). Class A. CHERUB. 2. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-88154-5.
  7. ^ —— (2005). Maximum Security. CHERUB. 3. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-88435-5.
  8. ^ —— (2005). The Killing. CHERUB. 4. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-89433-0.
  9. ^ —— (2006). Divine Madness. CHERUB. 5. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-89434-7.
  10. ^ —— (2006). Man vs Beast. CHERUB. 6. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-91169-3.
  11. ^ —— (2007). The Fall. CHERUB. 7. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-91170-9.
  12. ^ —— (2007). Mad Dogs. CHERUB. 8. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-91171-6.
  13. ^ —— (2008). The Sleepwalker. CHERUB. 9. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-93183-7.
  14. ^ —— (2008). The General. CHERUB. 10. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-93184-4.
  15. ^ —— (2009). Brigands M.C. CHERUB. 11. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-98903-6.
  16. ^ —— (2010). Shadow Wave. CHERUB. 12. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-95647-2.
  17. ^ Muchamore, Robert (2011). People's Republic. Aramov. 1. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-1-4449-0610-3.
  18. ^ —— (2012). Guardian Angel. Aramov. 2. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-99921-9.
  19. ^ Muchamore, Robert. "Black Friday". Retrieved 13 August 2010.
  20. ^ "Robert Muchamore – CHERUB: Lone Wolf". Hachette Children's Books. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  21. ^ —— (2016). New Guard. CHERUB. 13. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-1-444-91412-2.
  22. ^ —— (2007). Dark Sun. CHERUB. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-95679-3.

External links[edit]